Welcome to Ireland, known as the land of Major winners, this magical island is full of undeniably world-class links and parkland courses, resorts and castles and well-known Irish ‘craic’ and hospitality that will have you looking to revisit time and time. There is no wonder that Ireland is a top-rated golf destination, did you know, for example, that Ireland is home to a quarter of the worlds natural links golf courses.
THE EAST COAST
A journey will often begin in and around the Capital City of Dublin, where you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to golf resorts, sightseeing and pubs, and restaurants. Only thirty minutes from Dublin City Centre is the unique Carton House which houses a stylish hotel, a luxurious spa, and leisure suite as well as two of Ireland’s most beautiful championship golf courses, The Montgomerie Course and O’Meara Course. Thirty minutes south of Dublin between Bray and Wicklow is Druids Glen, often referred to as the Augusta of Ireland. West of Dublin is the iconic K Club which is one of the most famous golf clubs in Ireland with two championship Arnold Palmer designed courses.
Perhaps while enjoying Dublin’s top golf clubs and resorts you can find time to visit Stackstown Golf Club home to three-time major winner Padraig Harrington, or make the journey 30 minutes south to The European Club. Located between Wicklow and Arklow, owner, golf course architect and all-around golf aficionado Mr. Pat Ruddy, keeps everything in check, continually improving and stamping his wonderful sense of humor throughout his golf course. Dublin is blessed with some of the best golf courses in Ireland including Portmarnock, Royal Dublin, and The Island to name three, more of which you can find in the destination section.
The city is known for its lively bars and pubs, and these are a must when visiting the area. Head to the center of town, and you will find a taste of everything your heart could desire. Grafton Street is the main shopping area with Temple Bar the liveliest part of town, but in Dublin, you are never too far from an iconic pub. The Guinness Storehouse is close by and is a beautiful experience even if you are not a fan of the black stuff. The city’s oldest pub is the Brazen Head, well worth a visit. Great eateries worth a look are Shelbourne Social, Tang Cafe, Dax Restaurant and The Vintage Kitchen.
THE SOUTH WEST
The South West of Ireland is awash with must plays, with the likes of Trump International Golf Links Ireland, Adare Manor, Old Head, and Fota Island all to be found in this part of the island. Other iconic golf courses include Ballybunion Old Course and Waterville Golf Links, making this part of the world a haven for golf enthusiasts. A special mention goes to the area of Killarney, often referred to as the Birthplace of Irish Tourism, with hundreds of quaint shops, world-class theatre and an endless choice of pubs, restaurants, and nightlife. Killarney is tranquil and lively all at once and is an unforgettable retreat with incredible beauty.
THE WEST COAST
The West of Ireland is rich with fantastic golf courses including Galway Bay & Country Club, Enniscrone Golf Club, Lahinch, Connemara Golf Links and Carne Golf Club among them. The accommodation offering is equally stunning boasting the likes of the magnificent Mount Falcon Estate, Ashford and Ballynahinch Castles, the Old Ground Hotel and Vaughan Lodge. The West of Ireland presents a more rugged landscape including stunning beaches and a beautiful fusion of wilderness on one hand and forest, waterfalls and beaches on the other. If you are a city lover, you will like to spend time in Cork, Limerick, and Galway which all have their Irish atmosphere to soak up. Galway is situated on the Wild Atlantic Way, is a University town and has one of the youngest populations in Ireland; its smaller than Dublin but has an abundance of restaurants, pubs and great nightlife. Limerick is a much quieter, historic city but well worth a visit
and a place where you can enjoy a fabulous walk along the River Shannon.
THE NORTH WEST COAST
Heading northwest, you will find County Donegal. Slightly more remote but it provides outstanding traditional links experiences such as Ballyliffin and the superb Rosapenna Resort, as well as the perhaps lesser known Nairn & Portnoo, and Portsalon Golf Club. Although slightly off the beaten path in Ireland, the slower pace of life here is part of the charm. The rugged country roads, wild landscape, and stunning coastline all add up to a remarkable, authentic Irish experience. Donegal offers some astonishing accommodations. You will be hard pushed to find better than the remote and beautiful Harvey’s Point or Lough Eske Castle, with mouth-watering meals, quirky bars, elegant rooms and the warmest of welcomes, the people of Donegal and their hospitality are hard to beat.
One fantastic thing about Ireland is its Castles, many of which are accommodation providers today as they would have been, albeit of a different kind, when they were created. Many of these places are stunning, bursting full of character, that transport you back to a different era. Some to look out for are Dromoland, Ashford, Cabra, Ballynahinch, Kilronan, Clontarf, and Barberstown.
For a real magical experience on and off the golf course, there is only one place to visit – Ireland. With so many unique places, it is hard to highlight just one area, but this beautiful island will provide you with world-class golf, rich heritage, superb food and drink, and hospitality which is unrivaled the world over.